ESPN's Gordon Edes wrote today that it's reasonable to expect Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to reach a $10MM salary in 2010. Papelbon's thoughts on the idea:
"Heck yeah, as far as what me and my brain are thinking, but I haven't even sat down with my agents yet. We don't even have a number in place. There haven't been any discussions between me and the Red Sox and my agents at all."
Papelbon, who is arbitration-eligible for the second time, is willing to go year-to-year to "do things for my fellow closers." On the other hand, he seems open to a multiyear deal if the price is right. Edes says a two-year, $14.75MM offer from the Red Sox a year ago fell a few hundred thousand short. Turning that down proved wise, as Papelbon set a first-time arb-eligible pitcher record with a $6.25MM salary in '09 and should exceed $9MM this year. He'll be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
Other arbitration-eligible closers this winter include Heath Bell, David Aardsma, Brian Wilson, Jonathan Broxton, Huston Street, Bobby Jenks, Leo Nunez, Frank Francisco, Chad Qualls, and Carlos Marmol.